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seastalker

State of 3DO emulation vs R.E.A.L Hardware in 2019?

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I have no plans to collect for the 3DO and so far have one 3do gamepad. I've only dabbled with the 3do in an emulator a while ago. I'm now debating if I want to buy a console and add more to ever lacking room space problem or just play through emulation.  Easy to burn CD-r games are a plus, but emulators and playing off the hard drive vs a stack of cds is too. I have RetroArch's 4do core, 4DO as a standalone emu, and now the Phoenix Emulator (ENGLISH translated!). Phoenix at least claims 100% compatibility (and does Jaguar and others) but I haven't tried it out.

 

So, for those that have an actual 3DO but have ALSO tried the two above emulators, would you say for a casual gamer (at least for the 3DO) that emulation has reached maturity to where you don't really need original hardware unless REALLY nostalgic for one you had 20+ years ago?  Has anyone found bugs or glitches in the emulators to where you broke down and just had to buy a 3DO? 

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I have never emulated the 3DO.

But your post is interesting to me. As a "rare" 3DO enthusiast myself, I wonder why one would just play emulated 3DO. I find it hardly believable that someone, anyone would be in it just for the gameplay. There are very few true exclusives in the library since most the actual good games are ports from other platforms like the PC or Arcades, or have been ported to other systems like the PSX and Saturn.

 

Are you building a system that emulates every possible game and platform?

Edited by Montrealer

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Primary maintainer of RetroArch's 4DO core here.

 

While Phoenix is definitely the better emulator it's UX is... unique... and doesn't interface well or at all with 3rd party launchers. It's also closed source for those who care. For the casual user though 4DO is probably fine. It plays most of the games people are interested in well enough.

 

I've been working on other projects the past couple months but hope to get back to 4DO soon and improving compatibility. That said if anyone is interested in helping out on the emulator or in doing some 3DO homebrew please reach out.

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The only emulation I have done for the 3DO is on my android cell phone. I purchased an app for $5 called Real3DOPlayer and it seems to work nicely. I have tried maybe 15 game son it and it's cool, just not as fun playing on a small cell phone screen vs the real deal.

 

In all honesty tho, getting a used 3DO is around $100 or so, they look bad ass (especially the FZ-1 model) and you can download and burn basically any game for it. Granted a stack of CDs might not be the coolest thing but it's not that expensive to just dable with it like that. I would imagine even with an emulator you'd still have to taje the time to download all of those games anyways, and burning them takes under 10 minutes a disc.

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You could go the route I did, which was the USB-CD board, and running ISO's.
 
http://atariage.com/forums/topic/275218-is-anyone-selling-the-usb-stick-adapters-for-3do-currently/?p=4237356


That's pretty awesome but you still have to buy the board thing and then install it right. It's not just some sort of tapped in cable with a USB plug on the end right.

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That's pretty awesome but you still have to buy the board thing and then install it right. It's not just some sort of tapped in cable with a USB plug on the end right.

 

Depending on your model of 3DO the installation can be quite easy.  I happened to go a bit extreme with dremeling out an opening for the USB extension, as well as the 240p mod.  Neither is necessary.  The top-loading FZ-10 requires soldering.  It's pricey but many 3DO games have become rather pricey as well. 

Edited by Greg2600

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Ok everyone, I officially jumped in and got a FZ-1. Modern Vintage Gamer's channel suggested the FZ-10 MAY be better from a design standpoint but I don't any more elaboration beyond speculating a mechanical cd drive vs pop top just like the Sega CD model 1 and 2 (anyone notice the similarity in look of the Sega Cd model 1/FZ1 to the Model 2/FZ-10)?  I still went for the Panasonic FZ-1 as it was a good deal. It was a for parts/repair, but luckily though the tray is finicky/has issues, I got picture/sound, an audio cd played, then a burned Road Rash did as well! The included game disc ALSO works after cleaning it with soap and water, then isoprop.  I plan to do a comparison of emulation vs the R.E.A.L deal.

 

Remaining problems: The tray only closes if you help it.  At full eject, it dips down a bit and I can fully remove the tray with ease.  To close it,  I must guide it- sometimes the mechanical gears bark at me and sometimes they briefly do before grabbing the tray and all is well. There was rattling in the system and opening it revealed an unknown piece of plastic and a small piece of tissue paper of unknown origin (thankfully clean).  System looks surprisingly clean too with no visible dust at all!  The tray has a broken piece of plastic in the back I did not locate, and the one plastic piece I found is likely part of the 3do but not a match to the bit that broke off.  Anyone have a picture of a FZ-1 drive tray handy or what might NORMALLY keep the tray staying where it needs when you eject?  This system regardless may be a good candidate for a USB solution (for this I am VERY glad I have the FZ-1), but I may limp along with CDRs to try out the library. 

 

The system works fine, but I think I need a recap (I have the links to the kits) due to audio drop outs and crackle [thanks GadgetUK!].  I am liking the headphone jack on the controllers and if Road Rash alone doesn't sell me on keeping it, playing it on my Commodore monitor may. :)

 

Any ideas on fixing the tray issue would be appreciated as always. 

 

 

Edited by seastalker

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